bad time at lunch
Have been reading the forum for quite some time and would like some input.
This incident happened a couple of years ago. My daughter and myself were having lunch at a fast food place. She was sitting at a booth next to the large picture window facing the front of the place.
I was standing in line waiting for our food. I had to wait for several minutes because they were very slow, so much for "fast" food. Well, my daughter came up to me and told me that a man was looking at her funny from his truck parked in front of the place. I turned around and looked back at him through the window. At this time, the man started screaming, cursing (you could read his lips) and making faces at me from inside his truck through the window. This guy was in his mid 30s making "bunny ears", "binocular eyes" and "sticking his tongue" out at me. Well, my reaction was to look at my daughter and wonder out loud if the guy was on drugs or goofy. We finally got our food and sat down to eat our meal. Again, we were sitting next to the window with this guy in his truck not 10 feet away from us. I tried to avoid eye contact and yet still maintain awareness of what he was doing. He was waiting for his wife to get their food. When she got into the truck, he got out and came into the place. He was not carrying a weapon, incidently, if he had picked up a weapon, I would have had no problem drawing mine if he approached us. Anyway, he didn't have a weapon, just a bad attitude. He walked up to our table and started screaming, not yellin, but screaming about me looking at him "like a child molester". In the middle of him screaming and cussing me, he blurtes out"we can get the law involved in this". My response was "I quess you had better call them". Well, he went outside and 5 minutes later, 2 police cars show up. The police got it straightened out in a few minutes and excorted him off the property.
Anyway, here is my situation, all I could think of at that monent was "is this really happening to me"? I thought of all the cool, snappy comebacks later. I wonder if I acted out of cowardice or out of trying to defuse the situation. I kick myself because I let him get way too close to us, I understand that part. I even apoligized to my daughter for letting him get that close. I try to avoid trouble but can't help feeling that I just "chickened" out. Is this normal? I didn't want to make matters worst, however, in trying to defuse the situation, it could have got worse real quick and I couldn't have done anything about it. Is it just my ego giving me a hard time because I didn't go "Rambo" on him
Probably just your ego getting the best of you, as long as you and your daughter both made it home safe, you probably did the right thing. It becomes a very touchy situation when children become involved. I think you reacted the correct way, as far as him coming to close there is not much you can do but ask him to back away and stop screaming from a legal standpoint.
and welcome to the forum, you will find alot of usefull info here and most everone will give you good advice and help anyway they can!
No, it doesn't make you "chicken" in the least. Most people, myself included, don't normally expect a physical confrontation. We especially don't expect it with a nut job like that. When all was said and done, you obviously made the right call because the police escorted him off the property.
Originally Posted by carstensxd45
Now, if you had gone "Rambo" on him (your words), here's what could have easily happened:
You draw your gun. That automatically makes the situation more serious. Rather than the nut job calling the police, someone else would have done so. Not only that, but the nut job would have had witnesses to attest that he hadn't physically threatened you (yet). Plus, if you had gone so far as to have shot him, would you have been able to convince a jury that you were in fear of death or serious bodily injury? I wasn't there so I can't comment, but you had better hope that the answer was a very clear "YES."
So you did the right thing. Carrying a gun tends to remove the option of going "Rambo" anywhere at any time. If, God forbid, you ever have to draw a weapon, you want witnesses to see that the other person was clearly the aggressor.
I think you did OK. Any other response probably would have only enraged him and escalated the situation.... It is not cowardice, to walk away from a unwanted confrontation, it takes a wise and controlled person to do it...
Yes, you let him get too close... That can be a double edge sword. For example, he was obviously a raving and out of control person who is in poor control of his behavior. Had you have told him to back off, or try to get him to quit approaching you so closely, in his heightened state of rage, could have escalated his actions even more. Then you may have had a physical confrontation instead of merely a verbal one.
Had he have gotten physical on his own, without you encouraging it by giving him a challenge, you still had your "ace in the hole" to play. You were armed and capable of handling his aggression.
Yes, most times, you don't want to allow them to get close to you in the first place. However, you have to weigh what any verbal challenge is going to do to provoke him further.
In this case, he made all the correct decisions for you. He said, "we can get the law involved in this" and you responded merely to say "I guess you better call them!" He did, and he got escorted off the property!
I'd say you handled it very well!
I know you are thinking you should have done MORE! Maybe doing more would have made things worse.
You have to use your judgment in cases like this. As a rule, I try to do the least intervention as possible. Remember, he came at you raving and ranting... when those kind of people do that, almost anything you can say will make things worse. They are looking for an opportunity to feel justified in escalating it to a higher level. So, remember that! Do your best not to play into their hand. Just be sure you remain armed so you can best handle things if it rises to that occasion.
I've gotten to be pretty quick with the 911 call...as soon as someone started "going off" as he did, I'd have called in and gotten someone headed there.
I don't see that you handled this "wrong", since it turned out well; I'd just have had folks in uniform present or on the way before he came into the building.
It is easy to see all the things you could have done looking back, but if someone were gawking at my daughter, I would not be to terribly happy, either. You never said how old your daughter was, but at least she was aware of somebody acting weird. Good for her.
I think you handled the situation well. He was the one making a scene and you remained calm. This had to have been noticed by witnesses in the restaurant. I may not have sat at the window so he could continue harassing you, but it obviously worked out well.
Just two thoughts. One, if you had a cell phone with a camera on it, I would take pictures of this guy's behavior. Could come in handy. And two, always have a non-lethal alternative on you such as OC spray. You should think layers with your firearm being the last layer to be used.
I think you did very well. Because......when we decide to carry a firearm it changes how we can react to a situation. Meaning...we cannot get into the juvenile arguments and verbally attack someone and act like a "tough guy". I know it does hurt the ego a bit to let some guy "punk" us but thats how it goes.
I used to be that "tough guy" the one who acted when I got dirty looks etc. I would never let anyone disrespect me. But since I have decided to conceal carry It has changed my out look. I now have to be the guy who smiles and walks away from the "tough guys".
Oh and a tip....Next time just smile and laugh and be very polite when confronted. It catches them off guard as they are expecting a different reaction. It usually confuses them and they walk away.
It takes some time to get used to acting in a situation like this. Most people do freeze because they haven't planned or trained a response. Every thing worked out fine this time but had this (clearly unstable) indiviual chosen to attack you would have been behind the curve. The only way I would say that your reaction was adequate is if it was the reaction you intended. If you just froze because you didn't know how to respond than you would have been defenseless had this guy pulled a knife or worse.
Keeping all that in mind drawing a weapon in the situation you described would have very likely caused panic and wouldn't have ended well for anyone.
I would have called the police as soon as he got out of the truck, not that they would have got there in time but that the first thing I would have said to the bad guy is "the police are on the way".
I would also make sure that my child understood that her actions were 100% correct and that she is to do the same thing again if the situation ever repeats itself.
I wasn't there.
He wasn't screaming at me.
He was screaming at you.
It wasn't my daughter across the table from me.
That was your daughter.
I can't comment on how well you did or did not do, or what I would or would not have done, given the same circumstances, because I was not there.
That being said --
After 18 years behind the badge, if I were viewing this as a lawman after the fact, I would be congratulating you for your cool head, your accurate observations, and the decisions you made under a sudden and immense stress load.
I would also point out that you are alive and uninjured, your daughter is the same, and you don't have a courtroom appointment with a prosecuting attorney who is looking for notches in his coup stick.
Ya done good.
Yeah, as mentioned all I could see to do differently would be not to sit near the window after you got your food, and perhaps have been the first to call the police.
When you carry, you frequently end up NOT engaging where you otherwise MAY have, just because of the responsibility of weapon management and use.
You did fine.:bier:
Who picks a fight with "bunny ears" and tounge stick-outs? The guy was clearly off his rocker, or a 3rd grader in disguise.
He could have assumed that you sitting right in "his face" by the window, was sort of like taunting him and may have motivated him just enough to come inside. With nut cases like you've described just completely leaving the premises may have been safest though, especially since you had your daughter with you.
Originally Posted by carstensxd45
OTOH you were there free to eat your meal without harrassment and that's the way it should be, I probably would have stayed myself. I'm glad it all worked out for you.
BTW I know exactly where Longview is, I've been there many times.
I too had the "is this really happening to me?" thought when I was assaulted. It is a weird feeling, as you know, you are physically in control of yourself and you are perfectly aware of what is going on around you; however, like you said, you don't really have the ability to know what to do what you have told yourself you are going to do. At that point, I believe you're next move is who you truly are. I'm NOT saying that you are a chicken, I'm saying that you are a gently and wise human being.
I strongly encourage you not to ask others how they would have reacted, as the people that have not been through that will say, "I woulda beat the crap out of him", and "I woulda done this and that." The reality is you acted how you knew best how to, and view it as a learning experience on what to do next time. Others opinions on what you did (or didn't do) will eat at you until you start to completely second guess yourself as a person. Don't let that happen, just learn from it.
Been there in two different situations that could have ended in a robbery....thank God I was armed..............anyway, ALWAYS stay calm, clear headed and always act accordingly. IMO you didn't over react although I would have been the one calling LEO if he was visually molesting my daughter. Also sought witnesses in the restaurant seated near me.